January 26, 2016

Day 7 - Beginning the descend - our last full work day

Brantford HANDS Team:

Greetings everyone!

Today we had another wonderful day. It is now 10 o’clock here and we just finished devotions. By the way, this is Dan at the helm, I thought Aart wouldn’t mind the night off from the blog writing and when I asked (and just as I suspected) he said he was happy to write them but appreciated the opportunity to join the rest of the group for the evening.

As I noted above, we just finished devotions. Prior to the trip each of us were given a “job” to do during our time away. Aart volunteered as the blog writer, Derek is the medic, Fred was in charge of the finances, and Rick was given the daunting task of preparing devotions for each night during our time away. That said, each person takes a turn doing devotions before every meal, but Rick is in charge of the evening time. I am going to just spend a few moments discussing our devotion time.

I am unsure any of the guys were aware how significant the devotion time would be prior to the trip. There was a lot of talk about the big trip to a foreign country, about the work we would be doing on some Christian Schools, and some more about the people we would be meeting. I think everyone assumed devotions was automatically going to be part of the trip, but I am unsure how many were aware how significant  …and stretching. Although we are now beyond the half way point of the trip what we have experienced so far during devotion time has taken many of us to a whole new level in our relationship with the Lord, as well as, with each other. Rick prayed a lot about his job in preparation for this trip, he shared with me that he asked God to lead each man on the team into a deeper, more significant walk with Him. I know this has already occurred, because I have seen it and experienced it.  Thank you very much for your dedication to our devotions each night Rick, you are a true servant of Christ.

Today was our last full work day. We were working at a school in a really tough neighbourhood, a Christian School we have all simply called “Juanita’s school”.  Juanita is the principal of the school, and she also started the school. Before starting the school Juanita was a Dentist, and by the way, Juanita is 34. The community where the school is located was part of a relocation project by the government after a Hurricane had wiped out their previous community located closer to the Pacific. Unfortunately, many in the community have been unable to adapt well and good employment is scarce so poverty is widespread throughout this neighbourhood. Juanita visited this area once and found some children in this area that were malnourished and not educated properly. Juanita felt the Lord’s call on her to do what was in her power, so she left the Dentistry and started a Christian School. Juanita gave up her opportunity rise above poverty to give so many others the same chance she had. Now she lives among this community, but the Lord has blessed her work. I could go into a lengthy story about all the work God has done through this amazing woman, but you can ask any one of us more about Juanita and this school after our return. What I am going to say however, is how honoured we are to be invited by God to participate in His work at this school with this obedient servant that was willing to take up her cross and follow Jesus in this way.

There is so much more that could be said, but I will leave it here for now. This trip has been amazing so far, we have experienced hard work, we have witnessed time and time again a passion for Christ that can’t be put into words, and each of us has been brought closer to God by making ourselves vulnerable to Him.

To our families and friends back home, we miss you, we love you, we thank you for your support, and we all look forward to seeing you again when the week draws to an end. Please pray for our safety and for the journey God has in mind for each of us during this trip.

Hasta pronto!


Jess B
Jan 26, 2016 at 4:19 pm

Love reading the blog posts. Love reading how hard you are all working and playing down there. I am most excited about how this trip will positively affect all of you as it sure seems it has! God is so good!

I can speak for a few of us 'left behind'...you are missed...a lot!!! So enjoy your last couple days (remind Steve to extensively photograph and video the meeting with our sponsor child. ;)) but God speed your return to us :)

A Wife
Jan 26, 2016 at 7:44 pm

We are looking forward to your return. It is interesting that you go to another country to help other people. But when you leave you also realize how much you have grown.... in you relationship with God....and with the other men around you.

In addition, your wives have also developed a new appreciation for their husbands. So hurry back soon. And have a safe trip back.

Feliz Viaje!

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